Friday, August 26, 2011

Maria Bamford

All right, if you’re not American you may not know of her despite my proselytizing on this blog and even if you are American but are a godless heathen you still may not know who she is but shame on you. Tonight I got to see Maria Bamford at the Helium Comedy Café. She’ll be there for two more nights and the tickets are reasonable so with plane fare it is not a big deal. Seriously, she is weird in the funniest way possible. Not serial killer weird but ‘hey, I think that’ weird.

J agreed to accompany me on this entertainment extravaganza which was super until I watched a solo woman get seated in the front row at which point I tried to act like I didn’t know him and could I please share a table with that woman despite her weird oversized plastic duffel bag? No go and we were seated between Chandra and Burt and typhoid Mary and her boyfriend. We ignored the typhus victim (except for Jed covering his drink with the menu) but we were immediately befriended by the other couple when Jed used his Cabela’s Visa to start a tab. Honestly, short of a Playboy club key chain this credit card has started more conversations with strangers than an other inanimate object in our relationship. It’s as if it is coated with pheromones that only other pseudo-alpha males can recognize and once it’s been thrown down the game is on. This time was no different and I mentally left J and his new buddy discussing Rocky Mountain elk versus those of the Ukiah Mountains (I don’t even know what I’m typing at this point). The wife was sweet but a breeder so once we established the age of the children and that it was their 11th anniversary I focued on the stage and When. Was. Maria. Going. To. Come. Out.

We had to sit through 2 other acts during which I threw back my 2 drink minimum Merlots and replayed my favorite Maria youtube videos in my mind (one of my super powers). I was stoked and then there she was! Important note, comedy clubs are not very glamorous. The stage is about 1’ off the ground so aside from the host telling us that hecklers would not be tolerated there was really no protection for the talent if things went awry. Of course, this is Portland where awry means the chicken isn’t free range.

From where I was to Maria was not far at all. Let me tell you, she is slender. I’m not going to say skinny because that is pejorative but as she put it, when she moved to LA they took her food away. She is more flat chested than I am which means I love her even more. Also her hair is much longer than the promo poster and she has bangs. This is huge.

She launched into all the weirdness that is in her brain including the actions of her good friend Amy, which almost made me shriek because it was my good friend Amy (who is insane) who turned me on to her by filling my voice mail box with the words Maria Bamford whispered over and over. Then she talked about how she would be a different person if she just went somewhere else. Hello? That’s my bit!

She also kept segueing into how Portland people are so nice which is kind of like how you might say the fat ugly girl at the prom is nice because really you feel sorry for her (because her economy sucks and there are no jobs so despite the good restaurants it’s a bit troubling). She pointed out that even when we argue we’re on the same side (“I think healthcare and education should be a priority!” “I KNOW”), which is also true. It’s a wacky town.

Anyway, much laughter ensued and it was a good night. Poor J had to tolerate the fact that not only was the typhus victim trying to cough up a lung but she was one of those determined-to-be-heard-and-noticed women so she laughed hysterically before the jokes were even finished and yelled ‘Right On’ every other sentence. Thankfully, we got out of the club without incident but it was close.

If I weren’t so line-intolerant I could have met Maria and had my picture taken with her. She would probably have asked to spend the night at our house because do you want to stay in a crappy hotel when you could be in a quiet house with cool people and have a fruit smoothie for breakfast? By morning we would have realized that we are SO much alike and should be besties. Instead, I snapped these surreptitious pics while other lowlifes took up her time. Why do people think it’s OK to hug strangers when they’re celebrities? Especially Maria who has made it clear she has personal space issues and yet all these women not only wanted an autograph and a photo they wanted to clutch at her. Another reason why I wouldn’t be a good celebrity- there would be a ‘no stranger touching’ clause in all my public appearance contracts.

My future celebrity life aside it was a great night and I am still a huge Maria Bamford fan. Sometimes crazy is funny.


therhythmmethod said...

I have no idea who this crazy lady is, but this was hilarious. Given how much you love her, I'd probably love her too. I must check her out on YouTube.

Sarah Mac said...

I'm using the excuse that I'm from the UK for not knowing who Maria is (but I shall remedy that asap:).

It didnt matter though, this still made me laugh. I loved it. Especially that fact that you just KNOW you would be besties once she got to know you, I know exactly what you mean! xx

Abby said...

This might be a dealbreaker, but I've never even heard of her or seen her Target commercials. However, your recap was hilarious. I think I would rather have a drink and listen to you describe it instead ;)

asampler said...

Maria Bamford is one of the kooky greats of this world. She does comedy festivals over here, but I've only seen her on telly - next time I'll try to see her live. Funny post.

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